When booking the holiday of your dreams, you should pay attention to the online scams that might cut the thrills instantly. Experts in tourism continue to make warnings and to create awareness about the internet frauds that might arise on their way of scheduling a trip, plane tickets or a hotel. The numbers are quite worrying for the UK, as there were more than 5,000 persons fouled on the internet only in 2018. The financial losses are quite big too, approximately GBP 6.9 million being robbed from individuals who were simply trying to book a holiday. You might want to stay away from online scams by basically respecting some piece of advice.
Fake websites offering free plane tickets must be avoided
How it works: Holiday seasons are the best times for fraudsters to attack on the internet as there are many persons who are looking for the best travel deals. They might find that they have paid for a plane ticket that never shows in the email inbox, or worse, they click on a specific link promising free plane tickets and they are directed to a fake website that accesses your personal information, sometimes passwords and bank accounts.
What you can do: Looking for special titles like “Official Page” and searching for the blue check-mark on social media should be the first thing to consider when looking for plane tickets or accommodation. Otherwise, anything that seems suspicious can be marked as spam or reported immediately. On the other hand, if the damage is done and you are a victim of internet fraud, you might want to talk to a specialist or even to a criminal lawyer who can explain your rights in this case.
Fake travel agencies on Facebook – make a verification first
How it works: Social media is extremely present in our lives on a daily basis, so it is no wonder that most of the businesses have Facebook or Instagram pages. There are cases in which you might find an official-looking Facebook page, with logo, content, website, and description that presents one-time offers you cannot miss. Trips to exotic places or a free plane ticket if you buy another one might be among the offers you cannot refuse. Also, if you sign up, register and provide your personal information (name, age, country of residence, etc.) you are promised a discounted trip, booking or plane ticket.
What you can do: This is simply a scam on the internet, targeting people looking for free deals, and accessing personal information. The first thing to do is to look for an official website of the travel agency, make some research on the internet, and if nothing trustworthy is found, you are suggested to report the Facebook page.
You should mark as spam all fake emails
How it works: Another way in which you can be fouled on the internet is to respond to fake emails with subjects like “Please confirm your booking”, or “Here are your plane tickets – confirm now”. This is just another rip-off on the internet that might affect your entire holiday by clicking fake internet pages that steal your identity.
What you can do: Your plane tickets are usually received when the online check-in is made. The confirmation code for your booking is also received as soon as you made the hotel reservation. There is no such thing as confirming the itinerary through an online account, as all travel agencies or official booking websites do not request such things. If you want to be sure that everything is ok, you can directly contact the airline or hotel for extra details.
The diversity of scams on the internet is widespread anywhere in the world and tempting low prices can attract anyone looking for the best deal. Instead of getting trapped on the internet, the best thing to do is to double check the offers. People must look for any kind of info, for social media channels, for official websites, for testimonials and reviews before they make an online payment for their holiday. Those who believe that something looks suspicious on a specific website, should close the page and look for a trusted tour operator on the internet.